Moseley Colts travelled to their most feared away game on Saturday expecting another difficult afternoon in Whitchurch and straight from the kick they were not disappointed. Whitchurch powered forward to force a penalty and as Ben Meadows tried to run the ball up to the ten metre line he became isolated and under pressure from the opposition was adjudged to have held on to the ball and was penalised from which Whitchurch opted to take a kick at goal. Using the full minute to take the kick and to allow a strong wind to drop slightly, the kick sailed narrowly wide. The Moseley defence, seemingly still on the coach after the long journey, watched the ball bounce into the in goal area and back in to play. Winger Curtis Wellington was wrong-footed and in attempting to run the ball away from the danger area, was caught 7 metres out. The home forwards drove over him winning the ball as, again, the Moseley defence was slow to react. A quickly recycled ball and some slick hands in the backs saw Whitchurch cross the line wide out for their first try in the 3rd minute of play. The kick dropped short of the posts leaving the score 5-0 to Whitchurch.
Failing to really come to terms with the skill and determination being shown by Whitchurch, the next 10 minutes saw Moseley making numerous errors allowing Whitchurch to take control of the game, keeping Moseley penned in their own half. The few breaks that Moseley did attempt to relieve the pressure simply resulted in turnovers. Then on 15 minutes Moseley’s 12, Mahly Lynch broke out of the line and as he was tackled and went to ground. The referee adjudged he had held on and to everyone’s surprise showed his yellow card.
This seemed to be the cue to get Moseley going and on 22 minutes they, in turn, were awarded a penalty for the tackler not releasing. To the annoyance of the Moseley supporters the ref showed little consistency in his approach and no card was shown. Ben Morgan kept his cool and slotted the penalty to bring Moseley back to 5-3. Moseley then started to raise their game putting pressure on the home defence but found it difficult to penetrate a well organised defence and break through the final line. Whitchurch also had a number of breaks but failed to capitalise on some lack-lustre play by the visitors, spurning some decent try scoring opportunities and missing a difficult penalty opportunity from out wide, against a strong wind.
After a full and frank discussion at half time, where it was agreed that the overall standard and tempo had to improve, Moseley came out with a better attitude in the second period and started to apply the pressure. Once again, though, unforced errors cost them dearly. In probably our best passage of play, on 50 minutes, Moseley forced the home side to knock on in their own 22. From a solid scrum (one of the plus points of the day for us) and quick ball, the Whitchurch defence was caught off side. Dave Brazier reacted immediately with a quick tap and feed to Ben Meadows who drove forward to force his way over the line, supported by James Lawless- Fisher and Alex Coton. In a difficult day for place kicking, the conversion was missed due as the wind holding the ball up. Moseley thought they had broken the back of the home side, but they came back fighting. Following a steal at a line out the home side moved the ball across the field and a good kick and chase caught the Moseley defence out leading to a 2nd try for the home side. Again the conversion was missed but the home side were back in front 10-8. Almost out of nowhere Moseley found the inner belief and determination that has been the hallmark of performances of late. Much of the remainder of the game was spent in the home side’s 22; the Whitchurch defence finally capitulating and conceding a number of penalties which prevented a resurgent Moseley from having quick ball. As they continued to infringe a penalty was conceded in front of the posts which Ben Morgan converted to give Moseley an all-important one point advantage with very little time left to play. At 11-10 to the visitors in the final few minutes with Whitchurch pushing forward and the Moseley defence holding strong, the home team conceded a penalty. With the referee indicating that time was up, the ball was kicked out of play and the ref blew for no side. The relief from the Moseley contingent was palpable. Whitchurch is always a difficult place to come and play and it is to their credit that an under-strength and below-par Moseley team stuck to their task to come away with the 4 winning points.
Moseley therefore maintains their unbeaten record this season but had to work very hard to do so.
J. Lawless-Fisher, J. Bailie, A. Coton, B. Meadows, A. Brown, C. Ward, H. Pitt
D. Brazier, B. Morgan, J. Oliver, J. Lynch, C. Wellington, J. Mclean, C. Fensome
J. Adjayi, R. Biddle, Y. Siddiqui
On Sunday four of our players, James Baillie, Dave Brazier, Alex Coton and Ben Meadows played for North Midlands under 19s in a tightly contested match against Yorkshire, at Dudley Kingswinford. All four performed creditably in the 17-16 victory. Paul Bolton’s match report can be found on the N Mids website: http://www.northmidsrfu.co.uk/
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